Vet Trachea Specialists?
July 11, 2008 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Our pug has always had breathing problems. Now we find out he's got a fold in his trachea. We're in the Atlanta area and are looking for a specialist.

The vet gave us the grim news last night. Basically our pug will overheat, not be able to get enough oxygen and die. We're going to do everything we can to not stress him out and keep him very cool.

He also said if it were his dog, he wouldn't give him the surgery due to it's low success rate. But we're still going to inquire with a specialist. So does anyone a.) know any dog trachea specialists in the Georgia area (we're willing to travel to Alabama, Tenn, NC, SC, FL) and b.) is it even worth it?

Money IS an object, but we're willing to plop down a fair amount of cash for the surgery if it's worth it and will prolong his life (or give him a better one).

posted by Hands of Manos to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Is your dog suffering from tracheal collapse (tracheomalacia in humans)? The author of the paper in the first link may be able to point you to someone. For a closer alternative you might want to contact the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine; I know of a number of people who have taken dogs there for major medical procedures and been impressed (especially people who work in the medical field). If they don't have someone on faculty who works with this condition, I am sure they know who does.
posted by TedW at 7:20 AM on July 11, 2008

How old is your dog? Palate and tracheal problems are pretty common among pugs, and even healthy ones aren't supposed to be outside above 80 degrees F for very long. One of mine had to have his nostrils reshaped, but has been healthy ever since. I'm not familiar with the trachea stuff myself.

You should contact your local pug rescue group, if you haven't already, to see what they suggest. A lot of dogs rescued from puppy mills have eye/nose/throat problems and they are probably familiar with this. Even if your pug is older, they usually live 12-15 years, and I've seen eighteen/nineteen-year-old pugs at our local rescue before, so there's a chance someone can help your dog live quite a while longer.

Here's a list of pug rescues:
posted by rubadub at 9:54 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: you know rubadub, that's a damned good idea. We're local supporters of SEPRA (our Southeastern Pug rescue) and I'll just do that.

Ted, I sent my info to my wife (who's doing all further research) so I do appreciate that.
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:35 AM on July 11, 2008

This is what my pug actually died from, not the congestive heart failure that I was so concerned about. The vet tried her on some medications that supposedly can help but we never saw an improvement and finally had to put her down as the suffering became overwhelming. I took her to several specialists and no one had any good news about trachea collapse BUT she was 13 and already ill so that may play a role. I hope you find something to help, every time our new pug makes a snorting noise I get all scared again and pugs make a lot of snorting noises. Good luck!
posted by yodelingisfun at 1:07 PM on July 11, 2008

More advanced hospitals are placing tracheal stents for collapsed tracheas now but it is EXPENSIVE. I think the price at my hospital runs about $7000 for the surgery and all the recovery time. Success is totally dependent on the skill of the doctor and their knowledge of the procedure. Good luck.
posted by little miss s at 6:08 AM on July 12, 2008

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